|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Distribution||Marston Book Services|
Debrett's () is a professional coaching company, publisher and authority on etiquette and behaviour, founded in 1769 with the publication of the first edition of The New Peerage. The company takes its name from its founder, John Debrett.
Debrett's Academy was established in 2012 to provide coaching in interpersonal skills to individuals and corporations. Its courses for businesses cover topics such as public speaking, networking, sales pitches, relationship management, personal presentation and dress codes. Its private client courses focus on confidence-building and social competence, as well as personal presentation and impact, career progression and digital networking.
A non-profit arm, Debrett's Foundation, provides coaching through the Debrett's Academy to sixth form students from UK schools in business skills, as well as access to internships, work experience and mentoring opportunities.
Debrett's has published a range of guides on traditional British etiquette, dating from the mid 1900s. Those currently in print include Debrett's A-Z of Modern Manners, Debrett's Guide for the Modern Gentleman and Debrett's Handbook, a revised and updated version of its Correct Form. Debrett's Wedding Guide (first published in 2007) was revised in 2017 and published as Debrett's Wedding Handbook.
Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, a book which includes a short history of the family of each titleholder, previously published roughly every five years, the last printed edition was the 2019 and 150th edition published in the company's 250th year. Charles Kidd was the editor of the Peerage for nearly 40 years; he was the consulting editor on the last edition, which was edited by Dr Susan Morris, Wendy Bosberry-Scott and Gervase Belfield of Debrett Ancestry Research Ltd, a sister company of Debrett's.
Debrett's People of Today, an annual publication, contains biographical details of approximately 20,000 notable people from the entire spectrum of British society. The selection of entrants is made by the editorial staff of Debrett's and entries are reviewed annually to ensure accuracy and relevance. Entries include details of career, education, family, recreations and membership of clubs as well as contact addresses. An additional feature is the correct style of address to be used when addressing correspondence to an entrant. The last edition of this book was published in 2017.
Like its rival publication Who's Who, selection of entrants is at the Editorial Team's discretion and there is no payment or obligation to purchase. However, unlike Who's Who, entrants are removed if they are no longer deemed to be suitable for inclusion.
Debrett's website contains information on British tradition, etiquette, dress codes and style, and the biographical profiles of those featured in People of Today and the Debrett's 500.
There was a storyline in Doonesbury where Zonker had a large cash windfall with which he planned to purchase a British peerage. To prepare for his new role, he had a friend quiz him from Debrett's, to great comic effect.
In Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Sebastian says to Charles on defending his not letting Charles meet his family when they visit Brideshead the first time together, "You don't know what you've been saved. There are lots of us. Look them up in Debrett."
In Montague Rhodes James' The Residence at Whitminster, Uncle Oldys draws his information about the (spooking) viscount of Kildonan from Debrett's Peerage: "It's all in Debrett's - two little fat books".
John Debrett (8 January 1753 - 15 November 1822) was the London-born son of Jean Louys de Bret, a French cook of Huguenot extraction and his wife Rachel Panchaud. As a boy of thirteen, John Debrett was apprenticed to a Piccadilly bookseller and publisher, Robert Davis. He remained there until 1780, when he moved across Piccadilly to work for John Almon, bookseller and stationer. John Almon edited and published his first edition of The New Peerage in 1769, and went on to produce at least three further editions. By 1790 he had passed the editorship on to John Debrett who, in 1802, put his name to the two small volumes that made up The Correct Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland. Despite twice being declared bankrupt, Debrett continued as a bookseller and editor of the Peerage; the last edition edited by him was the 15th edition, which was published in 1823. He was found dead at his lodgings on 15 November 1822, and was buried at St James's Church, Piccadilly.
John Debrett married on 27 April 1787 in Piccadilly to Sophia Granger (1762-1833), daughter of Captain John Granger and Sophia Spencley. They had six children, none of whom followed their father into the book trade although Sophia did work with her husband and at one point ran the business herself.